Supporting Patients with Dental Anxiety

Are you looking for tips and ideas to better help your anxious patients? Below, you can find a wide range of free materials for clinicians, dental students, and allied professionals.

Why Do People Fear the Dentist?

What is it like to be suffering with dental phobia, fear or anxiety? These personal stories give a great insight into the causes and consequences of dental anxiety:

Tips and Resources

Top Tips for Treating Nervous Patients

Photo of Craigentinny Dental Care, a practice specialising in dental anxiety management

Fraser Hendrie runs a practice in Edinburgh which specialises in helping nervous and phobic patients. Here are his top tips for dental anxiety management.

Trauma-Informed Care Resources

Photo of a girl who has been abused - victims of sexual assault often develop dental phobia or fear associated with the abuse

Unfortunately, there are many similarities between sexual abuse and dental appointments. Find out how you can help with these free booklets, videos and other resources for dental professionals.

Iatrosedation by Dr Nathan Friedman

Photo of Dr Nathan Friedman, the father of iatrogenic dental anxiety management

Iatrosedation is the relief of anxiety through the dentist’s behaviour. This is the seminal article by Dr Nathan Friedman in full. Originally published in 1967, it is as relevant today as ever.

How to Fight ‘Fight or Flight’

Photo of Niall Neeson, BDS, who has a special interest in dental anxiety management

Niall Neeson is the clinical director at Boyne Dental in Navan, where he has developed a patient-centred approach for dental phobics. Here, he shares six simple tips for helping people overcome dental anxiety.

Communication and Language

Dr Lincoln Hirst, a dentist who has a special interest in dental anxiety management

The careful use of language can be a key tool in helping patients cope with dental treatment. Dentist Lincoln Hirst gives examples of how to communicate with very nervous patients.

Patient Forms and Questionnaires

Get free questionnaires and patient forms for use in your practice – for nervous adult patients as well as for dentally anxious children and teens. You can also find dental anxiety scales commonly used in research.

Practical and clinical tips in managing anxious dental patients - Webinar

Practical and clinical tips in managing anxious dental patients

In this webinar, Mike Gow introduces his top fast and effective tips. Topics include language and communication, behavioural techniques, technology, local anaesthesia techniques, injection tips, techniques to reduce gagging, and general chairside tips.

Free to view, registration required.

Did you know?

Dental Fear Central’s pages for patients contain lots of useful tips for clinicians. Examples include 15 Top Tips for Preventing Gagging, a perceived Lack of Control, and Needle Phobia Desensitisation Protocols.